Let's get back to Pat Burrell for a second. I get the sense the Phillies want Jamie Moyer and Scott Eyre back. Ruben Amaro Jr. already has said pitching is a priority, and Moyer and Eyre would be a good place to start. Burrell? I think the Phillies would like Burrell back, but only at their price. I also think they would like to get younger and more athletic at that position, which makes them less inclined to get into a bidding war with anybody. Burrell is 32. He hit .210 from July 10 through the end of the season. If a team makes a three-year offer for Burrell, I can't see the Phillies matching the years or dollars.
Plus, the Phillies already have a lot of money committed to 2009.
Consider the players already under contract next season:
- Brett Myers made $8.5 million in 2008. He will make $12 million in 2009.
- Chase Utley made $8.5 million. He will make $11.25 million, which includes a $250,000 signing bonus.
- Brad Lidge made $6.35 million. He will make $11.5 million.
- Jimmy Rollins made $8 million. He will make $8.5 million, which includes a $1 million signing bonus.
- Adam Eaton made $8.125 million. He will make $8.5 million.
- Geoff Jenkins made $5 million. He will make $8 million, which includes a $1.25 million buyout on a 2010 club option.
- Pedro Feliz made $3 million. He will make $5.5 million, which includes a $500,000 buyout on a 2010 club option.
- J.C. Romero made $3.75 million. He will make $4 million.
- Matt Stairs will make $1 million.
Players that made $51.225 million last season are scheduled to make $70.25 million next season.
Now consider the 10 players eligible for salary arbitration: Joe Blanton ($3.7 million last season), Eric Bruntlett ($600,000), Clay Condrey ($420,000), Greg Dobbs ($440,000), Chad Durbin ($900,000), Cole Hamels ($500,000), Ryan Howard ($10 million), Ryan Madson ($1.4 million), Shane Victorino ($480,000) and Jayson Werth ($1.7 million).
Those 10 players made $20.14 million last season. They will make much more than that in 2009. How much? It's tough to say. But let's say that group makes $30 million next season, which I think is a conservative estimate. That means the Phillies already have spent more than $100 million on salaries after opening last season with a $103 million payroll.
Remember, that doesn't include potential salaries for Moyer, who made $7 million last season, or Eyre, who made $3.8 million. That doesn't include Jim Thome's payout, which is around $3 million next season. That doesn't include salaries for players like Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste, Greg Golson, Kyle Kendrick or J.A. Happ or Carlos Carrasco or whomever else might fill out the rotation and bullpen. The Phillies' payroll, once you include those potential salaries, is more than $115 million.
And that's before addressing the left field situation.